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Well, That Was Different – BTT

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?

And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?

Well, I just read Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks. I haven’t written the review yet, but it’s non-fiction and I DO NOT read non-fiction. But I liked it! I was surprised, actually, that it didn’t bore me to death. I figure if Brooks writes such good non-fiction, her fiction must be KILLER.

But will this book encourage me to pick up other non-fiction. H-E-double-hockey-sticks NO. I read to escape, not to have reality come crashing down on me. So it’ll be a very strange day when I voluntarily pick up more non-fiction.

The strangest thing I ever read, though, was probably The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing. Weird weird weird. If you’ve read it, I’m sure you’ll understand. If you haven’t read it, well, you should. It’s a little novella and just downright creepy.

What’s your answer to this question?

Oh, and have you weighed in on the food issue?

| Tags: , , , 20 comments »

20 Responses to “Well, That Was Different – BTT”

  1. Traci

    I’m not a non-fiction reader, either. I might pick up a children’s non-fiction book if I really need to, but I prefer my reading to be entertaining. If I really want to learn something, I’ll watch a documentary.


  2. Sally

    I prefer fiction too. Like you, I want escape.


  3. Jennifer

    Ditto on the escape thing. A non-fiction book has to be utterly fascinating and written mostly in words of one syllable for me to finish it.


  4. Melody

    I’m not a non-fiction reader too. I find them too dry… but if the content is interestingly enough, I might pick it up and read it.


  5. Natasha @ Maw Books

    You are just like my mother-in-law she won’t touch non-fiction usually because it’s to depressing and she likes to escape and be entertained. Me? I love memoirs and for some odd reason, really depressing stuff.


  6. Yvonne

    I’m not a fan of non-fiction either. I only read them when something catches my eye, but it’s very rare for me to pick one up on my own. Otherwise, it’s fiction for me.


  7. marie

    I had a hard time answering because I was torn between writing about the time I read James Patterson and the time I read a chick lit novel. I wrote out a whole entry about l’affaire Patterson if you will, and then revised it to talk about the chick lit book I read (and didn’t totally hate). Then there’s the one fantasy novel… let’s say I’m a dabbler sometimes!


  8. Callista

    Well we’re very opposite then because I read mostly non-fiction. I don’t read to escape I read to learn. here is my answer. I did write on fiction though.


  9. writemeg

    I took a class exclusively on the work of Philip Roth in college and his novel “Sabbath’s Theater” was one of the assigned text.

    While I LOVED his books “American Pastoral” and “The Plot Against America,” “Sabbath’s Theater” was violent, graphic and so sexual I didn’t want to be in the same room as my mother while I was reading it! 🙂 I thought it was very well written, but I wasn’t comfortable with the gruesomeness of it. I shut it tight the second I was done and only opened it again to grab a few quotes for an essay!


  10. Swapna

    I read People of the Books by Geraldine Brooks and enjoyed it!


  11. Valerie

    Hey! I just recently read “Nine Parts of Desire” also and found it very interesting. I just wish that there was an updated version or addenum to the latest edition (it was written over 10 years ago).

    I like reading both non-fiction and fiction; I tend to alternate between the two types.


  12. Meghan

    Am I the only one who has also read The Fifth Child here? I totally forgot about that book, but I could easily have added it to my post. You’re right, it is definitely strange and creepy. I read it in a literature class about a year ago.

    Have you read the sequel? I haven’t and I’m not sure I want to!


  13. Eva

    The Fifth Child was SO weird!

    And I enjoy non-fiction, but I can understand why people don’t.


  14. Amy

    I actually like non-fiction from time to time. I am all about escapism too but I do enjoy memoirs or informative non-ficiton books.


  15. bookchronicle

    Fifth Child is most definitely a crazy, crazy book.


  16. softdrink

    Travelogues…non-fiction, but the ultimate in escapist literature!


  17. Rebecca

    Hey! I nominated you for an award.

    And I don’t really mind if my food touches other food, but I won’t spear multiple foods onto the fork at the same time.


  18. confuzzledbooks

    I don’t normally read non-fiction either it took me a while to get through the last one I read. It takes extra brain work for me to read non-fiction.


  19. mangomissives

    I haven’t read Nine Parts of Desire but I’ve read 3 or 4 of Brooks’ other books. And I actually got to hear her read from March a couple of years ago.

    I like to mix in the occasional Non-fiction books. My favorites tend to be memoirs and food writing.


  20. Tina Kubala

    I always try non-fiction. I find plenty I enjoy, but about half go back to the library unread. Why? Cause, non-fiction isn’t a free pass to dry as toast.


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